Adventures in Chiang Mai
We moved on from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and I just love this place!
It feels like there is so much to do up here. And slowly but surely we're seeing the sights and going on adventures... Slowly because we are on vacation after all.
We had originally hoped to get to Chiang Mai by an overnight train since it seems like it would be quite an experience all on its own, but they were sold out the day we wanted to leave so plan B kicked in: an inexpensive flight that was just over an hour long, MUCH faster than the train but not quite as cheap. On our one hour flight they gave us a full meal!!
I was seriously floored. I only get a couple cookies on a 4 hour flight to Minnesota! Thailand knows what's up.
Our hotel, Eurana Boutique Hotel (which is just so-so... albeit cheap!) is located in Old City which is a 1 km square area surrounded by a moat.
Pretty neat. There are tons of shops and food stalls around which has kept us busy and well fed.
Our first day here we rented some bicycles to get around and see the city, both inside and outside the moat.
And then we hit up the night bazaar - it's basically an arts and crafts fair on steroids. It's pretty hit or miss; there were quite a few trinkety things but we did find (and buy) a fun painting from a local artist.
Our second day was filled with a cooking class, something I was looking forward to doing loooong before we started our whole trip. We went with Smart Cooks and LOVED it. They picked us up from our hotel and we started with a market tour where we learned about the different kinds or rice in Thailand and the various veggies and herbs (which had actually perplexed me before) that we would be cooking with.
Then we headed off to their farm for the actual class portion - there were just 7 total in our class. Getting to their farm involved a short train ride and then a ten minute bike ride - it all felt so quaint.
This is precisely the moment David and I realized we left the class mangoes on the train... Doh!
We got to pick 7 items/courses to make and it all turned out so yummy. It was a very filling day though!
No surprise, David chose to make pad Thai.
Thankfully he loved this variation so we/he will definitely be trying to recreate it at home (thanks to them providing a recipe book!). We also got to make curry from scratch.
That mortar and pestle were heavy duty, it was seriously a workout to make the curry paste. It all led to my first ever phanang curry - it was so good!
How legit does this look?
Today was a bit more chill. We rented some scooters and explored more of the city. It almost went off without a hitch. The scooters were a bit strange to get used to (I've never been on one before). About 15-20 minutes in, I kinda sorta made a boo-boo that ended up costing us some baht. BUT, no one suffered even a scratch and all locals involved were so dang nice about it and it was so cheap to fix! Aside from that, the scooters were so much fun to ride! I usually led the two of us so i could go a nice slow Amy-pace. Every now and then I had to remind myself this is real life... not a video game. Of course we forgot to get a pic of one of us on the bike but we DID get a pic of the damage. Ha! (See the front fender??)
We rode up a small mountain to check out another temple (Wat Prathat Doi Suthep) which was pretty neat. There were sooo many stairs to get to the temple!
Another foot massage down and I think we're about ready for bed! Vacation wears a girl out.